On Saturday, October 21, Salt Lake City met its newest gallery space, Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts (MICA), through an incredible opening exhibit called Roots of Resistance.
Opening up in the heart of The Gateway just on the corner of 100 South at 95 S. Rio Grande St., MICA’s opening reception featured incredible art from 35 artists, a local artist gift shop, engaging conversation, connection and collaboration. As the night began, Chair of MICA Horacio Rodriguez joined Vice Chair Bianca Velasquez and board members Alexis Rausch and Bonè in kicking off the night with live music by DJ Buttahfly Boi Blues while attendees browsed art created by Salt Lake artists. The room slowly grew more packed with attendees, as viewers filled the room to learn about the show theme, Roots of Resistance and make connections to the artists who created the works. Through this project, you could see work by various artists from different Salt Lake communities, who created work to represent their heritage, family life, sense of beauty and personal experiences. Attendees also browsed the gallery’s local artist gift shop, comprising stickers, prints, pins, and books from local artists.
As the night came to a close, MICA’s founder Ruby Chacon, who had flown in from California, and Horacio Rodriguez brought everyone together to talk about the significance of MICA’s new gallery space being located at The Gateway, honoring MICA’s original mission to support mestizo artists on the west side. Chacon had come to present an award, dubbed “The Ruby Chacon” award, to a very deserving artist and honorable member of our art community. After a preamble from Chacon and Rodriguez, Fanny Blauer, who is the Executive Director of Artes De Mexico in Utah,stepped forward to the front of the room and delivered a touching acceptance speech.
By the end of the opening, it was clear that MICA had made an impact on Salt Lake City as a new gallery space that will represent the work of artists and spark collaborative events for many years to come. The conversations, the work that was displayed and the connections made around them made for an incredible moment in MICA’s history.
To learn more about Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts, check out their website at mestizoarts.org.